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Thinking about applying to the the Fiscal Sponsorship Program?  Remember, you must be actively fundraising or about to begin fundraising to be eligible. Here are some other things to consider before applying:

How Far Are You Into the Project?
What is Your Experience Level as a Director?
What Type of Work Sample Best Reflects You and Your Project?
Ready to Apply?

How Far Are You Into the Project?

Think of applying to our Fiscal Sponsorship program as a segue into fundraising. Your project proposal should be clear and concise, with a clear direction for the film. In addition, your goals for the project (particularly its Distribution phase) should be clear and realistic. Some projects come to us too early in the development process; as a result, their project description or treatment is not specific enough, or they have not yet thought out their fundraising or distribution strategies for the film. Our Review Committee looks at submitted proposals assuming they will soon be presented to funders. Please keep this in mind when considering which of our deadlines you will apply to.

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What is Your Level of Experience as a Director?

We readily support the work of emerging filmmakers. However, if you are a first-time director, we recommend bringing on a more experienced producer, either in a producer role or in an advisory capacity. This demonstrates to our Review Committee (and potential funders) that the project has the proper guidance to be brought to fruition.

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What Type of Work Sample Best Reflects You and Your Project?

Sample work submitted should best reflect your work as an independent filmmaker. Do not submit a director’s reel of work you have done for corporations or commercial television. The purpose of the Work Sample is to show our Review Committee how you visually and cinematically handle material, as well as demonstrate your technical skill. 

Documentary Filmmakers: If your project is a documentary, you MUST submit footage of the project you are actually proposing for Sponsorship. If you are a first-time director or are early in the research and development process, you need to go out and shoot some footage, put together a rough assembly (it need only be a few minutes) and submit this as part of your application. Keep in mind, you will likely need this to raise money for your film; a potential donor may want a better idea of what they will be funding, and most major foundations now require this element for all applications.  On occasion, we will take projects that are early in the research and development process, so if you feel that there is a compelling reason to consider your project without having any footage to submit, please email us at fsprogram@wmm.com.

Narrative Filmmakers: If you have a narrative project, you may submit prior work, preferably within the same genre (i.e. a narrative short for a proposed feature, etc.). Again, do not submit a director's reel from work you have been commissioned to do. Likewise, sample work from your DP, editor or producer is not acceptable; our Committee's evaluation of sample work is to assess the skill and creativity of the project's director as it will be applied to their own independent production.



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Ready to Apply?

Application and Guidelines  [PDF]  [Word]

When downloaded to your computer and displayed using Acrobat Reader, the application will display as a read/write, on-screen document. The application may be completed on-screen. The mouse will change to a cursor; use the tab-key or your mouse to navigate through the form. It may then be printed out and mailed.


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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us